I spoke to a friend the other day who was looking for real, tangible ways to help a friend who had recently been diagnosed with cancer. He wanted to help but wasn’t sure where to start- what was too much, and what was actually useful. It can be difficult to find the words, and sometimes the fear of saying the wrong thing shuts us down.
Tommy started treatment (again) this morning. The past week has been a tough one, especially mentally, as we prepared for this next round. Gearing up to fight a battle you thought you won is not for the faint of heart. You’re tired, frustrated, angry, but have to get back in the game. I didn’t know what to expect from today, but I can promise you, I did not expect to feel light, supported, and overjoyed…but I do.
Yesterday we had a few preliminary appointments as we begin this new clinical trial journey. Tommy was poked and prodded as they conducted scans, blood tests, and EKGs. I sat in the lobby holding his coat with the other caregivers. As I looked around the room I saw the familiar determined anxiety on their faces that I have felt the past year.
I’ve been having one of those weeks where I feel like I’m not doing enough. I don’t mean on a daily to-do list scale but on a BIG PICTURE LIFE scale. I just had a birthday, and it was an undeniable reminder that time keeps rolling along, no matter what life is asking of us.
Yesterday was World Mental Health Day. I wanted to take the opportunity to speak out about the mental mine field that survivors and their care givers face post-treatment. When we think about cancer, we often focus on the physical struggles: nausea, pain, hair loss, surgeries, scars. But, the unseen struggles can often be more debilitating than the visible ones.